TE Bubba Franks
GM Mike Tannenbaum was asked, after the Jets' portion of the draft had concluded on April 26, what had happened to the rumored re-signing of veteran TE Bubba Franks. Had it fallen through?
"Well, he's still a free agent," Mike T said, "so I don't think the book is totally closed on that."
How right he was. There were a few veteran TE rumors and reports before and after that, but this afternoon the Jets announced that old reliable Franks has re-signed with the Green & White.
Fans were surely underwhelmed by big Bubba's six catches for 47 yards — the first time in his nine-year career that he had single-digit catches and double-digit yardage — all coming before a hip injury at Oakland got him deactivated for eight of the Jets' last 10 games.
But there's a lot to be said for a reliable, experienced block of rock at the end of the line, especially for a Rex Ryan/Brian Schottenheimer "ground and pound" offense.
Dustin Keller's improving his blocking but he showed as a rookie that his receiving skills can hurt opponents. Kareem Brown and the four recently signed undrafted free agents (J'Nathan Bullock, Andrew Davie, Rob Myers and Jack Simmons) all have interesting traits but come with question marks attached.
Bubba's been there, done that, and the fact that he's ready, willing and able to be there again and do that some more brings some stability to the offense.
We heard Franks was out watching the second OTA practice of the week today, and we'll check in with him when we next have media availability after Thursday's third OTA session.
One thing that will be asked is how Franks is getting along without Brett Favre. It may be NFL Year 10 for the 31-year-old, but it will be Year One for him without having No. 4 on the same NFL roster.
I pulled up four Bubba interview transcripts during last year's training camp. In July he was asked 12 questions and six of them had to do with Favre, even though at that time there was no guarantee the legendary QB was ever going to become a Jet. Then after Favre arrived, Franks had two more interviews, 17 questions total. Sixteen dealt with Favre.
I assume this season will be a little different for No. 88 (his number was never reassigned) not playing pitch and catch with No. 4 and fielding a whole lot fewer Favre questions. But I doubt he'll show any outward emotions either way, and I like the idea of him being around.
Blog Shoutout from Abe
If you want to know how Abram Elam's doing these days, you don't have to go far to his smooth Website at AbeElam.com.
"Big Play Abe's" latest blog entry is a few weeks old and not at all controversial, but it contains a few sentiments for Jets players and fans following his trade from the Green & White to the Brown & Orange. Abe wrote:
I knew something might happen during the draft because Coach Ryan called me to let me know that something might go down. So I wasn't blindsided Saturday when my agent texted me to let me know I had been traded to the Browns.
*It's tough to leave the friends I have made with the Jets behind but I know I have some relationships made there that I will definitely keep with me for the rest of my life, with guys like David Clowney and Drew Coleman. Those are guys I really bonded with and got close to. *
But I'm really very excited about the opportunity I have here in Cleveland. I went to Kent State so this is like my old stomping grounds. I already have a lot of relationships here, with guys like Josh Cribbs who I played with in college. I think it will be a great fit for me.
It's also exciting to feel wanted. Coach Mangini and the Browns extended an offer sheet to me before the season and then went out and got me in a trade. I'm thankful for that.
And in one of his closing thoughts, Elam said:
I just want to thank all the Jets fans for their support and their love, I really appreciated my time in New York.
Ex-Jets Camp Punter Killed
Sad news came in over the weekend that punter Brian Simnjanovski, 27, died Sunday night in a one-car accident not far from his home in Escondido, Calif.
Simnjanovski, one of the top punters in the Mountain West Conference for San Diego State, came to Jets camp in 2004 to try to win the punting job. He had four punts in the preseason and was waived in favor of veteran Toby Gowin.